Keith Olbermann Apologizes to Fans, Bashes MSNBC Over Suspension. Way to Keep it Classy
Uber-Liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, after learning his suspension from the network would last all of four days (including a weekend), has issued an apology to the viewers of Countdown. As for an apology to the network: don't hold your breath.
Olbermann "tweeted" a prepared statement last night and, like his show, it's more sarcastic than anything else.
In the letter, Olbermann bashes his bosses at MSNBC more than he apologizes for what he did. See an excerpt after the jump:
I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule - which I previously knew nothing about - that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.
Olbermann was suspended last week after news broke that he contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of two Arizona Congressional candidates -- a violation of MSNBC's ethics policies. MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced over the weekend that the suspension would end tonight -- after missing only two shows.
"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement released last night. "We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."
Olbermann contributed $2,400 -- the maximum amount allowed under election law -- to the campaigns of Democratic Congressional Candidates Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, both of whom won their re-election bids last week.
In an attempt to appear objective, MSNBC's ethics policy clearly states that employees are not permitted to donate money to a campaign without the permission of the network's president.
"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest," it says. "Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee."
Olbermann never got the network's permission and paid the (ahem) price.
Check out his full "apology" here.
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